2016 Essex Running Club Junior Track Series

BY  |  Sunday, Jun 26, 2016 10:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Junior Track Series

Essex Running Club will host its 5th annual Junior Track Series for children ages 4-13 at Hurrell Field in Glen Ridge on July 10 and 24 from 5 – 8 pm. The cost is $5 per session! Registration forms are available on the ERC website or takes place at the field on event days starting at 4 pm.

Children are encouraged to participate in as many events in their age group as they like – ranging from the sprints (50 meters) to the mile, including relays and field events as well. No experience is necessary. Ribbons will be awards to first, second and third place finishers in each event!

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News 12 Interviews Montclair Residents Wanting Answers About Investigation Into Assessments

BY  |  Friday, Jun 24, 2016 2:30pm  |  COMMENTS (3)


Montclair BOE released a statement back at its April meeting regarding the investigation into assessments found online, but parents and residents still want answers about the costly investigation. Last week, News 12’s Kane in Your Corner did a segment on the investigation, interviewing some of the residents who made the “enemies list.”

In October 2013, days before Montclair students were supposed to take controversial assessment tests, 14 of the tests appeared on a now-defunct website, GoBookee. School officials said it was a deliberate leak and hired an international security firm to find out who was responsible. They also compiled a list of 27 suspects they wanted investigated. These suspects were by and large considered to be critics of some of the board’s policies.

Emails Paint Picture of Clandestine Operations and Confusion Over Montclair Assessment Investigation

News 12 reports that the investigation turned up nothing and shares findings from the Montclair police report, which states that the tests were stored unprotected, on the district’s web servers and were “easily accessible to web crawlers.”

News 12 attempted without success to interview then-district Chief Operating Officer Brian Fleischer, who as Baristanet has previously reported, wrote in an email that there was possibly no leak at all.

“It is possible … no one ever hit ‘send’ or otherwise deliberately uploaded (the assessments). But rather that GoBookee itself found and ‘stole’ (them).

Michelle Fine, among those interviewed for the story, characterized the BOE investigation as “an opportunity to launch an attack on critics.”

Montclair school officials refused to be interviewed. Montclair Schools Interim Superintendent Ron Bolandi only offered this written statement to News 12:

This controversy deflects from the work that this Board of Education and its administration needs to focus on, that being the education of the children of Montclair. Although I was not superintendent in 2013, it appears it was a difficult time.

Baristanet obtained the Montclair Police Department’s initial report and the Investigative Division Report on Assessmentgate. Based on his investigation, Detective Ricky Singleton cannot “attribute the accessing of the assessment exams to any individual.”

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Bloomfield High School Graduates Class of 2016!

BY  |  Friday, Jun 24, 2016 1:45pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Bloomfield High School celebrated its 162nd Commencement last night at Foley Field with 503 graduates moving on to their next chapter!

Videos: Bloomfield Pulse

Montclair High School Graduates Class of 2016!

BY  |  Friday, Jun 24, 2016 10:31am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Photo: Annette Batson

Photo: Annette Batson

Montclair High School celebrated its 149th Commencement last night. The weather held up and graduates and their families were able to sit outside in the MHS amphitheater, where they listened to U.S. Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and Montclair resident Jeh Johnson give a moving commencement address, sharing his own early struggles and addressing the bottom 50 percent of the graduating class.

“You know who you are — I was one of you. In fact, I was probably in the bottom 10 percent. The only time my mother used a four letter word was when she saw my report card. When I got a C, it was time for a celebration,” said Johnson.

“Early on, I had no role model I was tuned out and didn’t care. I compared to others and always came up short,” Johnson revealed, referencing how he always saw friends who were doing things, like track, better than he was. Then he spoke about what helped.

“For one thing, graduates, my parents never gave up on me. My parents never discouraged any ambition I had, no matter how crazy. I eventually I heard them, it took a while, but eventually I did hear my parents after years and years,” Johnson said.

Johnson addressed the parents, too. “Parents, rest assured, eventually your kids do hear you. Eventually they embrace your values. Eventually they even start to sound like you and act like you.”

Johnson also gave a shout to WBGO, mentioning his love for classic R&B.

 U.S. Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson gives commencement address.

U.S. Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson gives commencement address. Photo: Annette Batson.

Following graduation, it was on to Project Graduation, with cheering crowds lining Montclair streets to catch a glimpse of the happy Class of 2016 off to their special secret party destination, which took place this year at MetLife Stadium.

Project Graduation leaves Montclair to cheers all over town. Photo: Jen Grisafi

Project Graduation leaves Montclair to cheers all over town. Photo: Jen Grisafi

Weekend Family Highlights: Mad Hatter Tea Party, Music Fest, and More

BY  |  Friday, Jun 24, 2016 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

compassionWho’s ready for the weekend? Bring on the fun! We’ve rounded up plenty of family friendly activities for you to enjoy.

This weekend, The Life Christian Church (747 Northfield Avenue, West Orange) will host The Compassion Experience. This free event features an interactive journey through the true stories of children living in developing countries like the Philippines, Kenya, Uganda and the Dominican Republic. Although designed for the entire family, there are sensitive topics mentioned. Learn more about the stories here. The exhibit is open Friday, Saturday, and Monday from 12:00 PM to 7:40 PM; and on Sunday from 10:00 AM to 5:40 PM. Registration is available for some time slots, walk-ins welcome at most.

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Get Ready For Pomp and Circumstance, and Sirens! Tonight Montclair High School Graduates

BY  |  Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 4:30pm  |  COMMENTS (0)


The senior class of Montclair High School can expect to hear a commencement address from U.S. Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson. You can watch tonight’s commencement broadcast live. Continue Reading

Parents Worried About Possible Loss of Wrestling Coach at Montclair High School

BY  |  Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 12:30pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

Coaching Uncertainty at Montclair High School Creates Concerns

Montclair, NJ – Parents and players came out to support a baseball coach at Monday’s Montclair BOE meeting. Now, other parents are concerned about Montclair athletes losing their wrestling coach. A team parent copied Baristanet on the following letter to Superintendent Bolandi, Principal Earle, and Director Jeff Gannon:

The MHS wrestling team and team families were shocked and dismayed today to learn that Coach Freedman, whose efforts for the team have been absolutely extraordinary, was to be replaced next year, with, as far as I can tell, no input from the team having been solicited in the decision-making process. Continue Reading

Garden Harvest at Bloomfield’s Oak View Elementary Benefits Toni’s Kitchen

BY  |  Wednesday, Jun 22, 2016 5:42pm  |  COMMENTS (0)


Oak View Elementary in Bloomfield held its first garden harvest today with proceeds going to Toni’s Kitchen and it was a bountiful success!

Toni’s Kitchen was thrilled to receive all the herbs, collards, kale, lettuce and radishes and will use the bounty to feed the 75-100 people who will come to the soup kitchen for lunch tomorrow. Well done kids! —Jan Greco

Montclair High School Commencement Ceremony To Be Broadcast Live!

BY  |  Wednesday, Jun 22, 2016 11:15am  |  COMMENTS (0)

CaptureFor the first time, a live broadcast of the 149th Commencement at Montclair High School will be shown on Thursday, June 23 at 6 pm.

Members of the Montclair Community can log on to montclair.peg.tv and click on the Live TV33 tab. A crawl reminding the community how to access the live broadcast will be shown on channels 33 and 34 either the day before or the morning of the broadcast. The commencement ceremony will also air on FIOS Channel 33. It will not air on 34. Comcast users should log onto the website for access. Once again the live streaming will be available on montclair.peg.tv (like the live broadcasts of the BOE meetings). The simulcast of the ceremony will also be shown in the MHS Auditorium. No tickets for admittance are necessary.




School of Rock Montclair Faculty Member Moe Watson Featured in Decibel Magazine

BY  |  Wednesday, Jun 22, 2016 10:47am  |  COMMENTS (0)

School of Rock Montclair

Maurice “Moe” Watson, a drum instructor at School of Rock Montclair, is the subject of an artist interview by Decibel Magazine, the “world’s foremost heavy metal authority”. Watson’s work as the drummer for Shai Hulud, which Decibel describes as being “one of the most innovative and unique bands in the hardcore scene”, is the focus of the story.

“I was totally taken aback to be featured in Decibel!” says Watson, who has performed with Shai Hulud in concerts across America, Europe, Canada, and Japan. “Many of the bands and musicians that I’m inspired by are discussed in the magazine, so for me to be considered on the same level with them all is an amazing honor.”

Watson had been a busy session and touring drummer when he joined the faculty at School of Rock Montclair in 2011: he had shared stages with such diverse artists as Ludacris, mewithoutyou, Trey Songz, Suicide Silence, Fabolous, All Shall Perish, Keri Hilson, Ray-J, Pat Benatar, John Ginty, and many more. He joined up with Shai Hulud in 2015, and has done three tours with them since then.

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Featured Comment

Ah, but you are wrong. The 25th Assessmentgate Reunion in December, 2038 is already reserved at the Ramada on Route 46. There will be a book signing & cocktails from 5-6, followed by a vegan dinner & a square dance.

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